I got to spend even more time than usual in Camborne town centre this week during my staycation so it was a bit of a tough decision as to which business would take the laurels.
With the terrifying pace at which shops in my beloved hometown are closing down, I hope more people choose to back my campaign to shop local and support our traders and our town.
This week I’ve settled on Berrymans the bakers in Trelowarren Street as shop of the week. For as long as I can remember, this tiny little bakery has sold lovely old-fashioned cakes and breads.
My all-time favourite is the large and unbelievably soft white breakfast bap, just 27p for one or even cheaper in a pack of 6. Customer service is high here too, with the shop lady once taking pity on my singleton status and breaking up a pack of 6 so I could buy 2 when the individual ones had sold out!
The seeded, wholemeal and various granary loaves are all of the highest quality too and strike that great balance of being soft enough for sandwiches and firm enough for toast. Do try a loaf when you’re in Camborne this week.
It was with a heavy heart that I noticed 3 more shops have closed down in Camborne’s town centre as I walked in to do my grocery shopping this Thursday.
Farewell to the travel agent at the top of town, the gift shop opposite Woolworths and Motor World. I know of a worrying number of other small businesses and independent shops which are having to review regularly whether they are able to continue trading.
For a fraction of the amount it cost the taxpayer to bail out the big banks, so many little shops could have been supported to stay in business. It’s the rich tapestry of different and specialist shops which make a town centre like Camborne a great place to shop.
Shop of the Week this week goes to the delightful Cross Street News in Cross Street. Alan and Glynis run this lovely little newsagents where you will always find a friendly greeting, as well as a huge range of magazines, newspapers, greetings cards, snacks, drinks and not forgetting the fabulous old fashioned bottles of boiled sweets. I make a point of buying my newspaper from here when in town in the week. At the weekends, come rain or shine, I know that my paper will be waiting on the doormat when I amble down the stairs. In fact, even if I’m up early for work, I have never beaten the newspaper to my front door!
Supporting your local shops, with their quality service and products, is not exactly a difficult or arduous task. There is now a local market on Fridays which I’m looking forward to trying out this week. I’d love to hear your nominations for Shop of the Week and why you are proud to shop in Camborne, so do get in touch.
So this week I’d like to highlight a little gem that’s in the town centre, tucked away in Vyvyan Street – Froyco Domestic Repairs and Services.
You’ll no doubt have walked or driven past Froyco in the past – it’s the shop that usually has the latest brightly-coloured Henry vacuum cleaner in the window. Much more than hoovers though, what Froyco offers is specialist service and advice, across a whole range of domestic appliances, including washing machines, fans, upright and bagless vacuum cleaners.
With my opening comments being “I need a hoover that picks up lots of dust and can wash carpets too,” a more unscrupulous salesman would have instantly had the pound signs reeling before his eyes. On the contrary however, in Froyco he recommended that I buy a normal cleaner for hoovering, and rent George (Henry’s cousin) to do the shampooing. Just £6 for half a day and £10 for a full day, this makes much more sense to periodically let George do his stuff instead of splashing out hundreds on a multi-purpose cleaner.
I also ordered an upright vacuum cleaner and it should be there in a couple of days’ time. I can definitely live with putting off the vacuuming until the end of the week!
You can also pick up useful bits and bobs in Froyco, from lightbulbs and filters to handmade unusual jewellery. Take a nose at what the Old Cornwall Society is offering for their latest programme of events on the window poster on your way out.
Regular visitors to the site may have noticed that shops selling fayre fitting into the “suitable for last minute presents” category feature prominently in the Shop of the Week feature!
I’ve been saving one of the best of this ilk for a week where I was away/rained in/didn’t get chance to go into Camborne. As last week was all of the above, this week is the turn of Glamour and Glitz to be showcased.
My last-minute-present dash typically results in me buying a present but on the “one for the birthday bod, 4 for me” premise. With everything from beautiful occasion dresses in all sizes, to gems and jewellery, to toiletries. Do try the beautiful Sweet Flowers bath powder if nothing else!
Intuitive customer service and a discreet fitting service completes the package at Glamour and Glitz.
Having realised early on this week that I’d fallen foul of my usual filling my cupboards far too full trick, I decided to eat down my vast stock of cupboard and fridge/freezer stuff this week.
I’ve widened the parameters of Shop of the Week a little to include a local stalwart business which stood out for customer service this week.
Carn Brea Leisure Centre (now a charitable trust) has been my regular fitness haunt since I was a little girl. I always receive a warm reception from the front desk staff and the membership team came up trumps this week too. An error meant I’d been charged too much for my monthly direct debit, a short chat rectified this and established that as my sister was also a member, we could save almost £10 a month just by converting to a joint family membership.
It’s really refreshing to be treated like a person when you’re trying to sort a problem out. There are now a range of membership grades to suit all and everyone using the centre 10 times a month or more gets entered into a free prize draw – fingers crossed!
The stream of summer birthdays still trickles on and so I ventured into town yesterday to accomplish the veritable task of buying something for a 27th and something for an 85th birthday, within the twenty minutes I had spare!
Some rather scrumptious looking Apricot and Cranberry muesli beckoned me from the window of the Fairtrade shop, so I popped in for a browse and came out with an armful of goodies.
A lovely handmade purse, polished stone and some beautiful coasters for the presents, plus that muesli (which was great with some yoghurt and fresh raspberries), plus some wholewheat spaghetti and change from £20 for the lot.
Will definitely be back, just to add that the shop is displayed well and gentle, helpful service even when I thought I had accidentally broken one of the fab animal tape measures!(I hadn’t thank goodness).
Another great result from a Camborne shopping trip.
I was fortunate enough to have Friday off work this week, so took advantage of the gorgeous weather and strolled up to town from Penponds in the lovely sunshine to do my weekly shop.
Within the space of an hour and a quarter I had a shopping bag full of goodies and when you consider that this included the time it took to walk to and from Penponds to Camborne, I really don’t buy the argument that it’s quicker and easier to get everything in a supermarket.
I bought my fruit and veg from the greengrocer, my bread from the baker, my meat from the butchers and my paper from the newsagents, plus a couple of other bits and bobs from the town independent shops.
Shop of the week for this week, after careful consideration and lots of great contenders to choose from, is Cornwall Quality Meats, next to the former Woolworths. Some great offers on fresh chicken and pork and super friendly customer service as well. A nice grilled chicken breast, drizzled with sesame oil from Camborne Deli, awaits me for my tea later!
This week it’s the turn of Xanadu, right in the middle of Trelowarren Street. One of the shops (sadly ever fewer in number) that I remember when I was growing up in Camborne.
It was here that I proudly saved up and bought my first pair of checked trousers when I was a teenager, although they have seen better days now they are still going strong as a “waste not want not” pair of pyjama bottoms!
This week I popped in to buy a couple of their lovely handmade cards for a couple of family birthdays coming up and decided to treat myself to a massage as well.
Donna Marie spent a good amount of time consulting with me beforehand, and after a stress-busting back, neck and shoulder massage (with a lovely-smelling oil which I just forgot to ask the name of), left me to relax for a while before getting back to the bustle of my day.
This week the Shop of the Week title goes to Brides and Flowers, at the top end of Trelowarren Street. This has been run by the Dalley family for many years and still offers the same consistently good quality product and service.
I popped in there today when it occurred to me that, being already 5 days late for my Nan’s birthday visit (pesky elections!), I had better show up with a pretty good present!
Within the hour, they had sorted me out with a lovely bright bouquet, which Nan was overjoyed with. There were some nice vases and artistic stems in the shop as well, if you have the flower-arranging knack yourself.
Each week as part of my campaign to support local shops in Camborne I will be featuring one of my favourite local businesses.
This week it’s the turn of DKA Computing, in Hooper Lane (just round the corner from Trevada Music and the Post Office).
I discovered this little gem a year or two ago when I was the manager of Tyacks Hotel and was searching for some emergency supplies, of laminating pouches if I remember rightly. I stumbled across DKA Computing, which is an absolute Aladdin’s Cave of everything you could possibly need for the office or home stationery.
Not only are the prices very reasonable (and for better quality and range than you would find in bigger shops), the best thing about DKA Computing is the fantastic customer service which you receive from the gentleman who owns the business.
He is always warm and welcoming when you come in the shop, and although I am certainly not his biggest customer, he greets me as enthusiastically as if I was buying lots of stock and always points me in the right direction of the product I need. Little touches like holding the door open for me as he could see I had a lot to carry make all the difference.
I couldn’t recommend DKA Computing more highly.